The gardens of Pear Tree Cottage sit in a cider apple orchard in the green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England. It enjoys a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury & Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener!


8 October 2014

Changing colours

Pheasant Berry (Leycesteria formosa)

As the days become shorter, it's difficult not to notice the changing colours in the garden at this time of year - even on the dullest day. 

It's no wonder that the birds are attracted to the shining  Pheasant Berry fruits.  The clashing day-glow orange and pink of the Spindle fruits could only occur in nature! Apparently, this Euonyous is so called because spindles were actually made from its wood and the fruits are poisonous enough to to have been used on arrow tips. 

Although the leaves of the Witch Hazel are very similar to our native Hazel (Corylus), it is not related at all.  Not only do the leaves look spectacular in autumn - much more so than our native Hazels, it's one of the earliest shrubs to flower in spring and the little spider-like yellow flowers are highly fragrant. It was first used by American Indians for skin remedies. It contains hydrosol which is an astringent and is still used today. Winners all round!

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Mollis)

Spindle (Euonymus europaeus)

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